25% of 12-24 year-olds think being 'masculine' means having power and control over your partner
25% of 12-24 year-olds think being 'masculine' means having power and control over your partner John Gomez

Quarter of youth at risk of violence against women: research

RESEARCH has found one in four youths tolerate or are at risk of committing violence against women.

Independent research commissioned by Our Watch found 25% of 2000 people aged 12-24 believed being masculine meant exerting power and control over their partner.

Our Watch chief Paul Linossier said those young people were comfortable with coercive and disrespectful behaviours and more likely to justify violence.

Our Watch aims to prevent violence against women and children and has launched a national advertising campaign through Australian Community Media to challenge young people's attitudes.

The campaign, You Can't Undo Violence, aims to send the message that there is no excuse for violence and there are lasting consequences if you hurt someone.

The group said it defines which actions are inappropriate, such as physical and sexual violence, emotional abuse, shaming, bullying, and controlling behaviour.

The campaign is part of the federally funded initiative The Line, intended to encourage young people to reject violence and develop healthy, respectful and equal relationships.

The Line ambassador and former Sydney Swans player Luke Ablett said too many people thought being manly meant being violent.

"Young people's attitudes reflect the messages they get from family, peers, popular culture and society more broadly," he said.

"To stop girls and women being hurt and killed, we must challenge and change the attitudes that excuse, condone or trivialise violence towards women."

The 2014 survey for The Line campaign also interviewed 1000 parents and family members of those in the 12-24 age group.

Almost half the 12-24 group said they had or might have "crossed the line" with someone else.

Mr Linossier encouraged people who had "crossed the line" to get support to not to do it again by going to website theline.org.au.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, phone 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au.

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Of 2000 12-24 year olds surveyed:

1 in 3 don't think exerting control over someone else is a form of violence.

1 in 4 don't think it's serious when guys insult or verbally harass girls in the street.

1 in 4 think it's pretty normal for guys to pressure girls into sex.

1 in 4 don't think it's serious if a guy, who's normally gentle, sometimes slaps his girlfriend when he's drunk and they're arguing.

More than one quarter of young people think it's important for men to be tough and strong.

16% of young people think that women should know their place.

Source: Our Watch

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